Nearly doubling last year's performance figures, Credit Suisse First Boston has underwritten $25.6 billion in asset-backed securitizations for the first nine months of 1999, hitting the high mark for underwriters thus far, according to preliminary third-quarter findings from Securities Data Co.

CSFB has made a significant climb in rankings compared with the No. 5 standing the company held in third quarter 1998. "We have been increasing our efforts in issuance for quite a few years," said Eugene Xu, a researcher at CSFB. "And we have been rising steadily. Last year was very good, and this year was also very good."

CSFB underwrote 78 deals since Jan. 1, claiming 15.8% of the market. Notable transactions included a $3.3 billion Honda Motor Corp. pricing in July, and the recent $2 billion Associates First Capital deal. CFSB also lead managed last week's Providian deal, which priced at $600 million.

Edging in at second, Salomon Smith Barney priced 78 deals since Jan. 1, with a market share of 15%, according to preliminary SDC figures. Total proceeds for Smith Barney exceeded $24.4 billion, compared with last year's $16.7 billion.

Among the deals Salomon lead managed was the $1.1 billion Bayerische Motoren Werke AG maiden transaction.

Meanwhile, Lehman Brothers, working on 81 deals, snagged the third spot, underwriting $19 billion in proceeds, up slightly from 1998's $18.2 billion.

In what was apparently a slow three-quarters for last year's third quarter champ, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter fell to sixth place in the year-to-date rankings, taking only 5.5% of the market. Proceeds fell to $8.9 billion from nearly $21.7 billion a year ago.

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